Right before Christmas I was working hard to make some modifications to the App State Metals studio. As noted earlier, I've been converting my office inside the Metals studio into a new DCRL. I ordered a a few butcher block tables for the DCRL and then in between cleaning and sorting supplies and tools, I started rearranging the main studio so that I could make room for a South Bend lathe and a new sandblaster. I am really limited in the amount of space I have to work with, but I think if I can get a little creative I should be able to carve out more space. I am used to having a dedicated demo bench area when I teach and the old studio set-up didn't really have a space that I could call "home". I rearranged things and started refinishing the tops of two of the tables. The small one will be the demo table and then the other larger table will be used as a flex space. We can use it for enameling prep, small scale machining, forming, or workspace for advanced students. Things are starting to take space.
I worked on student tool kits yesterday and was able to purchase and add saw frames to their tool kits so those can be something that students have access to regardless of studio hours. I wish I could afford fancy jeweler's benches but it's just not in the cards, so I'll have to get creative. I'm working on a design for a CNC cut jeweler's bench. The demo bench here will eventually be replaced by the prototype CNC cut jeweler's bench and then if everything works out, I'm hoping to make an entire classroom of benches that will replace the existing tables and provide student storage for supplies and their tool kits. This last part will probably take me all summer, but I think it will help with the space issue and make things a little better. I built a bunch of benches for our advanced students at UWM when I was working there, but I'm hoping my new design is a bit easier to assemble in mass quantities. I want to share the design as well so other studios can use the design.